The aging of raw Pu'er tea

Introduction to the aging of Pu'er tea 

Pu'er tea has the characteristics of "more aging and more fragrance". Compared with other types of tea, Pu'er tea is suitable for storage. With the extension of storage time. Pu'er tea will show different characteristics (taste, smell, soup colour) at different stages, and it is appreciated by many tea lovers.

(2008 Lao Ban Zhang Pu'er tea cake)

Aged Pu'er tea is not only good for drinking but also a good investment. Today, the storage and aging of Pu'er tea have developed into an important industry.

Behind the scenes

  • Under certain temperature, humidity and oxygen microorganisms, the colourless tea polyphenols undergo non-enzymatic oxidation, and gradually form golden and translucent theaflavins, thearubigins, and theabrownins. The tea soup gradually changed from greenish-yellow to golden yellow, orange-red, red, and brown; the taste gradually changed from the bitter taste of tea polyphenols to the strong astringency of theaflavins, the mellowness of thearubins, and the calmness of the theaflavins; 
  • Amino acids come into contact with oxygen and are oxidized, degraded and transformed to form amino acid oxides. With aging, they lose the freshness of new tea and participate in the formation of aged smelling;
  • Aromatic compounds are oxidized to produce propionaldehyde, 2-4 heptadienal, octadienaldehyde, pentenol, etc., so that the green flavour of tea and tea leaves disappears, and the aroma gradually changes from a clear fragrance to a floral fragrance. With a longer time, special fragrance such as camphor incense and medicinal incense will also appear.
  • The macromolecular carbon compounds such as starch and cellulose in tea are continuously hydrolyzed into small molecular compounds, so that more sugar and pectin substances that can be perceived by the taste can be dissolved during the brewing process, making the tea soup more sweet and smooth.

Therefore, under proper conditions and storage. Pu'er tea will show different tastes as the storage time increases. The general rule is that the soup becomes darker, the taste is more mellow, and the aroma is more and more aged smelling (陈香).

However, the value of Pu'er tea is not determined solely by the length of storage time. It also depends on the quality of Pu'er tea leaves and storage conditions. Only when the essence of the tea is excellent and the storage conditions are suitable can make Pu'er tea become more mature and a good investment.

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